The Learning Commons

The Learning Commons

The Catalogue for Philanthropy increases the visibility and resources of more than 400 of our region’s best community-based nonprofits. We know, though, that it is not enough simply to connect charities with new supporters: we also must help them become stronger.

Through The Learning Commons we offer an intensive capacity-building program to Catalogue nonprofits free of charge. Nearly half of our featured organizations lack dedicated development staff, which makes our skill-building efforts even more critical. And many more are eager to get better at what they do – in stewardship, communications, volunteer management. In addition to providing nonprofits with the basic development knowledge they need to build their capacity, The Learning Commons also creates opportunities for dialogue and collaboration in neighborhoods, and between organizations and their communities. The Learning Commons programming covers four main areas:

Best Practices in Development - Through The Learning Commons, we deliver to our nonprofits a series of capacity-building workshops that fall into two categories – Core Curriculum courses and Elective Curriculum workshops. The Core Curriculum is a series of development-focused workshops that Catalogue nonprofits must complete during the first year of their four-year partnership with us. This curriculum addresses the deficit in development resources we see among our nonprofits and their staff. Our goal with the Core Curriculum is to make sure we provide them with the basic development knowledge they need to enable them to build lasting and beneficial relationships with donors introduced to them by the Catalogue. Our Elective Curriculum workshops cover more advanced fundraising topics– volunteer management, corporate partnerships, evaluation – building more sophisticated capacity above the Core Curriculum.

Know Your Neighborhood Convenings - We believe in the power of networks, so we organize neighborhood-based convenings to connect nonprofits that are working next door to each other, and help them explore opportunities to collaborate. Partnerships – sharing skills, services, and knowledge – break down silos and increase impact.

Community Conversations - Through our Community Conversations, we tap our network of nonprofit thought leaders and subject matter experts to conduct a donor education series. The goal of these gatherings is to informs donors about local social issues and the work Catalogue nonprofits are doing to address them in our communities, creating a more informed donor community that is well-connected to the Catalogue and our featured organizations. These sessions are available to Catalogue donors, clients of our sponsors, and those interested in learning more about community issues.

Ask the Catalogue - Ask the Catalogue is a series of regular brown-bag lunches that allow nonprofits to stay up-to-date on Catalogue opportunities and events. New staff members learn about their partnership with us and together we keep the dialogue open.

Partner with Us

We invite you to join us as a partner in sponsoring and/or facilitating a training. As a partner, you will share your expertise with our growing network of charities, find new opportunities to advance you own community goals, and meet other like-minded supporters who share your passions.